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Sometimes you just need a little extra motivation to get off of the couch and out to the gym. The next time you need that little push, remind yourself that you are helping your brain as well as your body.
1. It Helps Reduce Anxiety
Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, endorphins are chemicals that make us happy. Exercise also creates extra neurons that calm the brain and stop it from creating different neurons that cause stress!
Studies show that as little as 5 minutes of exercise can start to brighten your mood. A full workout can have effects that last for hours.
The long-term effects are even better. People who exercise regularly are up to 25% less likely to develop an anxiety disorder than their non-exercising counterparts.
2. Exercise Boosts Your Brain Power
It doesn’t take a super-genius to figure out that when your brain is boosted it brings your mood up. When you exercise you are adding new cells to your brain as well as your body. These new brain cells clear up the cobwebs and help you think to your full potential.
Exercise can physically make your brain bigger. Studies show that with regular exercise that breaks a sweat can actually grow the part of your brain that is tied to learning. Exercise will also raise the survival rate of the brain cells you already have!
3. It Strengthens Your Immune System
The math is simple: when you aren’t feeling sick, it’s easier to feel happy. Exercise actually fights illness in two ways.
It super-charges your antibodies and white blood cells. Exercise will make your body’s natural defenses move faster, which helps them find and fight sickness in your body more effectively.
When you exercise you raise your body temperature and flush bad bacteria from your lungs. Raising your body temperature helps to kill off bad bacteria in your body which can stop you from getting sick. Flushing the bacteria from your lungs guards against colds!
4. It Helps You Sleep
A good night’s sleep can make you feel ready to conquer your day. Better sleep is tied to a better mood, memory, and overall health. So it’s a big factor in making you happier.
Studies show that exercise will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully. Exercising regularly can boost the quality of your sleep by up to 65%. When you sleep better at night, you can be more alert during the day. The added alertness will help you accomplish more and feel better while doing it.
5. It Helps You Develop Self-Discipline
Nothing feels better than meeting a goal. When motivation is in short supply, self-discipline steps in and smashes through barriers. Luckily, self-discipline is actually a skill that can be trained.
Self-discipline isn’t just about reaching goals. Studies have shown that people who have high levels of self-discipline are happier in the moment and long term.
Exercise is best when it is done regularly. Every study shows that the long-term benefits of regular exercise outweigh the small boosts from each daily session. Each time you exercise you are building up your self-discipline skill.
6. Improved Body Image
Exercise improves the way you feel about your body and the way you feel about your body affects how you feel about almost everything. It’s easy to like what you see when you notice weight loss and higher muscle tone. Exercise helps with both of those.
There’s more to it than just the physical change in your body, though. The psychological effects of exercising can actually make you love your body more with or without changes. Your body will surprise you with what it’s capable of and that will help you gain respect for it.
7. Better Posture
Good posture has a huge effect on your mood. People with better posture have better reactions to stressful situations, a better view of themselves, and fewer instances of depression. Better posture can help how others see you as well. They can see you as more self-confident, smarter, and happier.
Exercise strengthens your core muscles. Your core muscles help hold you upright to keep your posture looking great.
Strength training will help your posture, but so will cardio.
When you do cardio your body has to keep the muscles around your spine strong. Over time this gives you better posture!
8. It Eases Joint Pain
Overcome chronic pain with movement. Sometimes getting off the couch is exactly what you need to help fight pain.
Exercise raises the body’s pain threshold. That means that it takes more pain to make you uncomfortable. Since joint pain can lower your pain threshold, exercise will actually help fight this.
You are also strengthening your muscles. When your muscles are strong it takes some of the pressure off of your joints and helps them move more easily. Even if you aren’t struggling with chronic pain, this will fight even small aches.
9. It Gives You Energy
Everything seems better when you’re full of energy. You’re bright-eyed and ready to take on the day.
Exercise increases your breathing and gets your heart pumping. That means your body will be full of freshly oxygenated blood. With this fresh infusion, everything works easier. Your mind is clear, your movements are strong. You’re practically a superhero.
Even when you are worn down, exercise will actually give you a boost. No matter how tired you are when you start, the energy you’ll get from exercise will help you conquer any obstacle.
10. It Sharpens Your Memory
Every time you work up a sweat you are helping out your memory. Exercising helps your body create special proteins in your brain and those proteins are all about making memories. With the aid of these super proteins, you’ll remember where you left your keys and be able to solve problems better.
Studies show that people who exercise for four months or more are better at difficult tasks involving memory. Exercising after studying can even help improve your test scores. Now that’s something to be happy about.
11. It Gives You Runner’s High
Runner’s high hits you when endorphins flood your brain when you exercise. It’s usually described as a feeling of well-being while working out, but some people say they reach a state of euphoria.
You get a runner’s high from pushing yourself, but not too hard. When your body is working hard, it pushes out endorphins to fight the discomfort and your mood gets the benefits. The trick is to hit the sweet spot of working hard without too much pain. This instant mood boost can turn almost any day around.
12. It Gets You Outdoors
Taking your exercise outside can have an immense effect on your mood and your long-term mental health. Use your daily run as an excuse to see nature and give your skin some vitamin D.
Studies show that people who spend a little bit of time outdoors have less stress and better moods. You can improve your mood with just 20 minutes spent in nature.
Not only is the scenery great, but the improved quality of the air will make you feel like a new person.
13. It Helps You Meet New People
Getting outside is one thing, using your exercise time to get social is another. Playing a physical game, walking with a friend, or spotting someone at the weights can help you get more from your exercise and more from life.
Use your exercise time to meet some new people. You can join a new sport or strike up a conversation with someone at the gym while you stride on that elliptical. Social interactions help you feel more at east and can reduce stress levels.
14. It Helps You Lose Weight
Weight loss from exercise can lead to better physical health and a short-term mood boost from achieving a goal. The health benefits of weight loss – lower blood glucose levels, lower triglycerides, and better heart health – all benefit your mood. The healthier a person is, the happier they feel. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you fit into those skinny jeans again.
A study showed that even clinically depressed people can lower their symptoms with weight loss. The subjects lost 8% of their body weight and showed a reduction in their depression symptoms. Pair this off with a brand new philips air fryer and you’ll be slimming down in no time.
15. It Lowers Your Risk of Injury
Feeling strong and being injury-free will make you happier. Exercising helps keep you on your feet!
Exercising raises muscle strength. Strong muscles help support your bones and joints as you move. This added protection makes it harder for you to move in a way that will injure your body.
You are also training your body how to move in the right way. When you exercise you are training your muscles how to move properly. So when the stress is on you aren’t going to hurt yourself.
16. It Gives You Clear Skin
Great skin leaves you feeling confident. Give yourself a healthy glow that no makeup can duplicate. Treat your skin from the inside out with exercise.
Your skin is one of the biggest ways your body gets rid of toxins. Sweating and increasing the blood flow to your skin helps it to release those toxins so you can wash them away. There isn’t a skin cleaner on the market that can match exercise for a deep clean.
Make sure you drink plenty of water while working out. The increased hydration is great for the skin.
17. It Helps Fight Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance means that your body doesn’t break down sugar in your system very well. When this happens, it can make you overly hungry or thirsty, effect your reproductive health or lead to diabetes. Insulin resistance also messes with your hormones and can lead to mood swings.
When you exercise you burn sugar in your muscles. While your body recovers it takes sugar from your bloodstream. This process will help your body break down sugar naturally so you don’t have to deal with the side effects of insulin resistance.